Roger L. Mozingo

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Learn more about corporations VOTING to rewrite our laws.

This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Roger L. Mozingo was involved in state and local level lobbying for the tobacco industry. He served as a Vice President of the Tobacco Institute, in the State Activities Division in the 1970's & 1980's, later went to R. J. Reynolds (RJR). Mozingo held the position of Vice President of State Government Relations for RJR in 1994. [1]

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

In 1999, Mozingo represented R.J. Reynolds on the Private Enterprise Board of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).[2]

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.

Tobacco industry documents

In a 1988 document titled, Remarks by Roger L. Mozingo, Senior Vice President of the Tobacco Institute, Mozingo brags about the astonishing number of clean indoor measures that Tobacco Institute defeated in states, cities and counties all across the United States in just one year alone.

Of particular interest are: the "preventitive" measures the Institute took to stop tobacco control activity before it started in Massachusetts, the strategy they used to kill a measure to ban tobacco use in hospitals and, finally, their diabolically ingenious "white hat" strategy, which they employed against the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) after MBTA's board voted to stop carrying tobacco ads on its conveyances:

...We have offered a measure that requires the MBTA to maximize advertising revenue from all legal sources and channel those funds to help the elderly and handicapped. This "white hat" proposal would supersede the ban on tobacco advertising and, in theory at least, require the MBTA to use all legal sources for this worthwhile project...[handwritten] including tobacco advertising.[3]

An April 7, 1988 speech by Mozingo (then Senior Vice President of the Tobacco Institute) reveals the power of the Institute as a bulwark against public health throughout the United States. The speech reveals that a sizeable number of U.S. states tried to get workplace smoking restrictions enacted in 1988, but failed due to the industry's opposition. Mozingo mentions the industry tactics of delaying, weakening and, wherever possible, killing smoking restriction bills at the local level:

Locally, we continue to face numerous and difficult challenges on the smoking restriction front. As you know, we are often successful in delaying and weakening local measures, but it is tough to obtain what I would call a final 'kill' locally...

Mozingo also mentions a tactic the Institute used to get smoking cars added back on to Connecticut trains (portraying smoking as a "state's rights" issue rather than a health issue):

... the most significant thing is that the issue has been couched not as a smoking issue, but as one of states' rights. That enabled us to obtain a committee vote of 22-0 in favor of adding a smoking car.

Mozingo also reveals a tactic the Institute used to stop a measure that would have banned smoking in hospitals in Washington state:

This year in Washington state, we defeated every anti-tobacco proposal under review. Of particular interest was our work with one relatively minor measure...a bill that would have banned the use of tobacco in hospitals. ... The measure originally had the full support of hospital administrators and the medical community. With the assistance of Gray Robertson's ACVA Atlantic and Covington & Burling, we drafted an amendment to the bill that would have required hospitals to meet rigid and specific ventilation standards in every operating theater, intensive care unit and other hospital areas.... At this turn of events, hospital officials became unglued and openly broke with the medical community, dropping support for the measure and ensuring its defeat. This work should help us in the future as we continue to...oppose more significant anti-smoking legislation in Washington.

Mozingo also discusses the industry's overall strategy of "taking the initiative and putting the anti's [public health authorities/advocates] on the defensive."[4]

References

  1. Source: R. J. Reynolds Summary - RJR Liability Notebook
  2. American Legislative Exchange Council, 1998 Form 990, form filed with the IRS and available via Guidestar.org, May 14, 1999
  3. Mozingo, R., Tobacco Institute Executive Committee Meeting (Remarks by Roger L. Mozingo, Senior Vice President of the Tobacco Institute) April 7, 1988. Bates No. TIOK0019080/9094
  4. Mozingo RL, Tobacco Institute Executive Committee Meeting, The Tobacco Institute, Remarks by Roger L. Mozingo, Senior Vice President, The Tobacco Institute, April 7, 1988--TI08820222, Stateline New York State document collection, Bates No.TI08820222/0229

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